Curriculum

The Program

Majors and minors in Biology begin with Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (BIOL 121), Introduction to Organismal Biology (BIOL 221) and Introduction to Ecology, Evolution and Diversity (BIOL 222).  BIOL 121 and 221 are prerequisites for BIOL 222 and all upper-division Biology courses, and are taken in the first year.  BIOL 222 should be taken during the sophomore year, and is a prerequisite for most upper-division courses.  Entering students may be eligible for credit on the basis of the Advanced Placement test in Biology, the International Baccalaureate or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

In addition to the three introductory courses, Biology majors take five upper-division (300-level) courses.  These courses allow students to explore a number of specialties and refine their particular interests.  Biology students are required to use modern equipment, both for class work and the individual pursuit of research.  Suggestions for specific upper-division courses that are appropriate for areas of interest may be found here.

The close interrelationship of biology to other disciplines requires that majors complete two courses in chemistry (CHEM 125 and 250) along with two chemistry labs (CHEM 201 and 202) and one course in mathematics (MATH 118, 119, or 124).

Courses in other natural sciences, as well as in the social sciences and humanities, complement the Biology coursework and provide students with a balanced education in the liberal arts.  Those planning to teach natural sciences in the secondary schools take a number of courses in biology and other natural sciences, as well as designated courses in education. These students generally complete a Natural Science major, rather than a Biology major.

A  more complete description of the Biology curriculum and course options can be found in the CSB/SJU Academic Catalog.